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Even more about scrapple before the holidays

It’s been a while since I’ve had a good post about scrapple, puddin’, ponhaus and its origins. For our part, we have a freezer full of Habbersett’s for my husband, courtesy of my mother-in-law, so I thought it might be a good time to revisit some past discussions on the subject!

Commenter Robert brings up scrapple as a good meat for this time of year. He says, “My family has eaten panhas for years every Thanksgiving. My ancestors were as German as as you could get with a name like Zahnhizer. This meat product was traditionally very similar to head cheese, but now has been modified a bit. My mom uses a bit of black pepper as the seasoning and it is fried crispy outside, soft on the inside and eaten WITHOUT any other additions. This is a meat product not fried corn mush!”

(Wonder what Mark thinks about the lack of King Syrup??)

Then, commenter Christine Silvio adds, “I just wanted to mention that buckwheat – or in German ‘Buchweizen’ – is indeed common in Germany and is used in the preparation of some of the items described above. It was originally cultivated in China and expanded westward, arriving in central Europe in the Middle Ages. (Acc. to Wise Aunt Wiki, the first written record of buckwheat cultivation in Germany was in the 14th C.) I once tried a specialty of the Lüneburger Heide called Buchweizentorte, which is made with buckwheat flour, lingonberries, whipped cream, and chocolate shavings. Heaven! Greetings and salutations!”

Connie, another commenter from abroad, writes, “I was first introduced to scrapple while I was working on my Masters in German at Millersville University – I must admit, I viewed it with some skepticism and only tried a tiny piece – although I usually am quite adventurous in expanding my culinary horizons. I returned to Germany 5 years ago to teach English here. In the Lüneburger Heide (home of the famous heath and the Heidschnucken sheep, where I lived the first 2 years), as well as in other parts of Northern Germany, one of the local specialties is “Knipp”, which is quite similar to scrapple, and is made from oatmeal, pork belly, pork offal, beef liver and broth and is seasoned with salt, pepper, and allspice. In the Lüneburger Heide, “Heidschnucke” mutton or lamb is used in place of the pork. Here in North Hessen, a similar local specialty is “Weckewerk”, which may also be prepared with soaked stale white bread and seasoned with marjoram, garlic, onion, and caraway seeds. Usual accompaniments are steamed, boiled or fried potatoes, beets, and pickles. Such methods have always been common among farmers at slaughtering time, who make use of as much of the animal as possible. Almost nothing goes to waste.”

She continues in her recent comment, “This evening I finally tasted my first slice of Weckewerk, browned in the iron skillet, and was pleasantly surprised at how delicious it was. It reminded me a bit of scrapple, so I googled and found your website. Makes me a bit nostalgic for the beautiful Pennsylvania Dutch countryside! Nice spending time with you! Grüße from Germany!”

Thanks to all who continue to write in on this fun local (and global!) topic! Please keep your thoughts coming!

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